Whereas some people are in the life-saving business, nature and music devotee Mats E. Eriksson is in the death-saving business, meaning that he sure loves his fossils. He was born in 1972 and works as a professor of paleontology at Lund University, Sweden. He chiefly studies creatures from the Paleozoic Era and tries to reconstruct and understand these ancient organisms and their interrelationship to the surrounding physical environment. His research is, or has been, funded primarily by the Swedish Research Council, the Crafoord Foundation and the National Geographic Society. Besides research and teaching, Eriksson has a profound interest in scientific outreach, which is manifested through audiovisual art, oral presentations, as well as regularly writing popular science pieces for journals in both English and Swedish. He recently released two popular science books which have both been very well received and he is co-responsible for the hugely successful traveling exhibition Rock Fossils (see links below). He loves dicotomies and adores it when different disciplines – such as science, arts, and popular culture – amalgamate, while he wholeheartedly loathes hypocrisy. Eriksson lives with his family in Malmö, Sweden, and nurtures a dream of sometime being fossilized himself, albeit – for several reasons – in a very distant future.
Research interests and fields of study
At the present Eriksson’s research interests can be largely summarized into the following broad topics; (1) Virtual and molecular paleontology; (2) Lagerstätten and the nature of exceptional preservation and taphonomy; (3) Cambrian faunal dynamics, exceptional preservation, biostratigraphy and event stratigraphy, with special focus on the Cambrian Orsten Lagerstätte; (4) Ordovician and Silurian high-resolution biostratigraphy and faunal dynamics; (5) The evolutionary history of annelids, with particular focus on jaw-bearing polychaetes; (6) Diet and trophic structures in ancient ecosystems; (7) The history of paleontology, and the art of reconstructing ancient organisms.
Eriksson is deeply involved in teaching in the Department of Geology in Lund, particularly within the fields of paleontology (including, for example, taxonomy, biostratigraphy, palaeoecology, and palaeobiology), sedimentology, research methods and ethics, outreach and popular science. The courses range from basic undergraduate level through the PhD level.
Some relevant links
Another Primordial Day, 2019 (In English)
Hårdrocksfossil, 2017 (In Swedish)
Rock Fossils Ehibition
Records / music projects
La Grind Danse Macabre – starring Websteroprion armstrongi (2020): https://lagrinddansemacabre.bandcamp.com/
Primordial Rigor Mortis (2017): https://primordialrigormortis.bandcamp.com/releases
Silurian Overkill – Kalloprion kilmisteri (2016): https://kalloprionkilmisteri.bandcamp.com/releases
Deep time predator – hymns form an ancient carbonate tomb (2014): https://ohmresistance.bandcamp.com/album/deep-time-predator
Displaying of publications. Sorted by year, then title.